Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


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Graduate Seminar - Dr. Jennifer Druhan


Monday, March 19, 2018


03:00pm - 04:00pm


CPE 2.204


Speaker:  Dr. Jennifer Druhan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Title of Seminar: “Water and energy: Linking subsurface reactivity and physical structure to enhance resource sustainability”

Abstract: Water is a basic necessity for life, and exerts a primary control on virtually all geological, chemical and biological processes occurring at or near the Earth’s surface. Because these water-rock-life interactions take place at interfaces, both fluid composition and the physical and chemical structure of porous media must be treated as coevolving phenomena.  Such complex and interrelated processes can hinder the sustainable discovery, development and stewardship of energy resources.  An expanding means of addressing this complexity is through the development of multicomponent numerical methods that combine the governing equations of flow, transport and reactivity.  In this presentation I will demonstrate the construction and application of such models through combined experimental and numerical designs to address key hydrogeochemical problems, with an emphasis on the balance between simulations of complex reactivity versus highly heterogeneous hydrologic conditions.  Examples include microbially-mediated redox cycling of metal ores and reactivity in highly resolved permeability structures.  The goal is to demonstrate how simulations can be used to interrogate complex field data and thus provide new insights into the hydrogeochemical processes governing energy resources.

Biography:  Jennifer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  She joined the faculty in 2015 after completing an NSF postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University.  She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and an M.S. from the University of Arizona Department of Hydrology and Water Resources.  Her research centers on the relationship between the physical heterogeneity and chemical reactivity of aquifers, and ways in which stable isotope ratios are sensitive to this relationship.